The Homeless Need More than a Home

At first, it seems logical:

If someone is homeless, then we should give them a home. Unfortunately, that answer is simplistic.

In the June 2017 issue of Rescue magazine, Jim Lilley, the president of the Union Gospel Rescue Mission in Seattle, writes that saying we should give a home to the homeless or money to the poor is as logical as saying, “if somebody is hurting, then we should provide healing.”

“So our communities provide housing first,” he writes. “… if we get every hurting person off the street and into a home, we feel better, but they do not–they are still hurting.”

Food, clothing, and shelter are part of the solution. Meals and transitional housing like we provide at Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities is vital to people in need in our community.

But more than that, our students and guests need the support to find healing from mental health, addiction, or job loss that has held them back, powered by the grace and healing that Jesus alone can provide. Once their lives are back on track, then the relationships they lost in their journey will return, and for someone who is homeless and feels invisible in the world, that’s invaluable.

Lilley continues–

“When healing takes place and relationships are restored, families and friends step back into people’s lives. They bring with them hope and love and pictures of grandkids … and a home to come back to, a place and a people who have been missed.”

So yes, the homeless need a home. But not one with a roof and walls that keep the rain out. They need a home filled with their loved ones who care for them and provide the love and care they deserve and desperately missed.

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